News

Conservatives Push Carbon Tax to Address Climate Crisis

February 8, 2017

[Standard Examiner ]...“I would personally be delighted if a carbon tax were politically feasible in the United States, or were to become politically feasible in the future,” said Harvard economics professor Robert Stavins. “At some point, the politics will change, and it’s important to be ready.”

What Trump Misses About Regulations: They Produce Benefits as Well as Costs

February 5, 2017

[The Conversation ] Joseph Aldy: President Trump jettisoned more than 30 years of bipartisan regulatory policy on January 30 when he issued an executive order on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The order requires that whenever a new regulation is enacted by any federal agency, regulators must eliminate two rules, so that the cost of complying with the new rule is offset by the costs associated with the two existing rules.

Tillerson Renews Old Debate: When is a Subsidy a Subsidy?

January 13, 2017

[ClimateWire ]...To Joe Aldy, a public policy professor at the Harvard University and climate change policy expert, there's no doubt fossil fuel extractors get tax breaks.

"Most of the subsidies in the tax code for oil and gas production are not general business tax expenditures, as [Tillerson] suggested in the testimony, but specific to hydrocarbons," Aldy said in an email.

Donald Trump Should Know: This Is What Climate Change Costs Us

December 15, 2016

[The New York Times ] Michael Greenstone and Cass Sunstein: Last week, Donald J. Trump’s transition team sent a startling questionnaire to the Department of Energy. Among other things, the questionnaire asked for the names of all employees and contractors who attended meetings of the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon, as well as all emails associated with those meetings, and the department’s “opinion” on the underlying issues — a request it essentially refused.

Clean Energy ‘Moving Forward’ Despite Trump’s E.P.A. Pick, Experts Say

December 8, 2016

[The New York Times ]...“The good news is that on its own, the U.S. economy has become less carbon intensive, and that trend will continue overall,” said Robert N. Stavins, the director of the environmental economics program at Harvard University. The bad news, he said, is that markets alone will not lower emissions enough to offset the worst impacts of global warming.

The Fate Of The Climate Under President Trump

November 18, 2016

[NPR radio interview with Robert N. Stavins] Delegates from nearly 200 countries are in Morocco this week to work out how to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. That's the historic accord under which countries including the U.S. pledged to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to help poorer countries transition away from fossil fuel.

But, with the election of Donald Trump last week, some environmentalists are worried the U.S. will backtrack.

What Does the Trump Victory Mean for Climate Change Policy?

November 10, 2016

[Robert Stavins' blog] Those of you who have read my previous essay at this blog, “This is Not a Time for Political Neutrality” (October 9, 2016), know that my greatest concerns about a Trump presidency (then a possibility, now a certainty), were not limited to environmental policy, but rather were “about what a Trump presidency would mean for my country and for the world in realms ranging from economic progress to national security to personal liberty,” based on his “own …